I’ve Been at My Company for 19 Years — Here’s How I’ve Grown as a Trusting and Communicative Leader

Sponsored by Ampersand

Wendy Lowe. Photo courtesy of Ampersand.

Wendy Lowe. Photo courtesy of Ampersand.

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During her over 19 years at Ampersand, Wendy Lowe has been able to continuously grow her skillset and career due to her hard work and the “great men and women at Ampersand who took the time to understand my career goals, recognized my strengths and the value I bring to the organization, and rewarded me with the opportunity to enrich my role,” she tells us. 

For instance, one career opportunity that Lowe’s particularly proud of is becoming the manager of Ampersand’s Denver office after only a short period of being an account executive (AE). With this move, “my focus shifted from myself to the wellbeing and success of my team,” she says. 

This focus on supporting others has been a common theme in Lowe’s career, continuing through today, where she has grown to be the Director of Sales for the Big West Division. In this role, Lowe manages a team of three salespeople in Denver and two salespeople in San Francisco. “It is my responsibility to hire the best people I can for the AE positions and then do all I can to retain and motivate them,” Lowe explains. “I oversee the relationships and business of my team’s key accounts and am always looking for growth opportunities that benefit my clients and, as a result, benefit Ampersand… These are people who I truly care about, and seeing them succeed makes me feel like I’m helping, in whatever small way, to make a difference.”

As a leader, Lowe has found success by focusing on actively listening to her team, fostering trust, having an open-door policy, and creating a space where everyone feels comfortable and heard. Here, we’ll delve more into her leadership style and best advice for others hoping to become (or grow as!) leaders.

To start, what is your No. 1 piece of advice for other women who are moving into or want to move into leadership?   

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Can you identify anything you said or did that earmarked you as someone ready for advancement?  

While there wasn’t one thing in particular, I love this company and I have devoted many years to it. I’m a team player and was happy to handle anything thrown my way.

How do you think about making sure your direct reports feel well-supported in their lives both in and out of the office?  

My direct reports also know that, if there is a problem, I’m here to support them in any way. I make sure that there is a lot of communication so nothing slips through the cracks. 

What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?  

Trust that the decisions I made were the right ones. For example, my current manager trusts me to make the right hiring decisions and doesn’t micromanage.

What do you believe is the top thing managers must do when onboarding new employees?  

Due diligence. Ask pointed questions, and don’t be in a rush to fill a position. Make sure they’re a good fit for everyone. 

While building your team, what did you learn that surprised you most?

How much enjoyment I get after one of my AE’s has a big win.

Moving on, let’s talk more about the support Ampersand offers. How has Ampersand helped set you up for success? How is this kind of support reflective of the overall culture at Ampersand?   

We are in the communication business and open and honest communication is the key to success. Ampersand has gone out of its way to make sure employees are given all the tools for success. 

Specifically, does Ampersand have a formal program in place for mentor or sponsorship?   

Yes. In May of 2023, Ampersand launched our pilot Mentorship Program. Each mentee was hand-selected and chosen by their manager to be a part of this pilot program. 75% of the mentees in our program are female and/or of a diverse ethnic background. Our program offers mentees a six-month professional pairing with an internal senior-level mentor and a personal mentor with our partner, Thrive Global (a health and wellness company), who will work with them to establish goals and provide guidance, advice, feedback, and support.

Finally, what is your favorite perk at Ampersand, and what has led you to stay with the company?

When Nicolle Pangis joined the company as CEO, she put in place a much-needed update to the parental leave policy to include paid leave for adoption. Shortly after this update, my husband and I were matched for our second adoption with only two weeks’ notice! This change made a world of difference to us as a family and took away that stress, allowing us to focus on our newest member of the family, Jack! Still to this day, I am so grateful to her for implementing this change and giving me this special time to bond with him.

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